Helping Guide Bengal Cat Owners

The Tough Decision to Give Up Your Cat for Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide

Giving up your cat for adoption is a difficult choice. There are reasons for doing so whether it’s moving to a location that doesn’t allow pets, dealing with a challenging illness, or changes in the family like taking care of a parent or a new baby where having a cat isn’t feasible. 

How to give up a cat for adoption? Step by step guides will help you explore all your options to find a rescue group, a no-kill shelter, or a new home for your beloved pet. You will need to thoroughly check out those who take your pet to ensure its well-being. 

Read further for guidelines on how to move through the process of rehoming your feline. 

Make Your Cat More Adoptable

The first step in rehoming your cat is to make sure you have up-to-date health records on your pet. Have the cat checked by a veterinarian and give you a report. Keep their vaccinations up to date and make sure it is spayed or neutered. 

These are all expenses a new owner would like to avoid. 

Talk to Your Vet

Sometimes, veterinarians know people who are looking for a pet and can offer advice on how to rehome your cat.

Take a Good Picture and Create a Description

The key to rehoming your pet is the picture. Taking a good, high-quality photo showcasing your cat’s personality will prompt potential adopters to call. A description should list your cat’s training and whether it gets along with other pets and children. It should list medical information, favorite activities, and food. 

Most of all, your description should show why your pet is special and needs a new home. Use descriptive words to show its personality.

Read: Do Cats Get Oily Fur When Stressed and Why?

Try Your Social Circle First

It’s always best if you know the person adopting your cat. You can put a poster up at your vet’s clinic and talk to co-workers, friends, and family. You can put up a flyer at your church that includes a good photo and description of your cat. 

It is also best if you know the person who wants to adopt your pet. Then, you can ask about your cat over time and maybe even see him if you are close to the new pet parent as a friend or family member.

Use Social Media

A good method is using social media to ask for someone to take your pet. Share your story with your cat’s photo and ask friends to share it.  

There are local pet adoption groups on social media platforms that actively work to connect those rehoming pets with those who will love them. Find those in your area and advertise to rehome your pet there.

However, never say the cat is “free to a good home.” Many times, people will take free animals and use them as bait for dog fighting or other horrific acts. They look for free animal ads on social media, online, and in classified ads in newspapers or newsletters.

Read: What Smells Will Keep Cats Away?

Sign Up For Free Publicity

Online services are available for those seeking to rehome their pet. You can join Rehome for free. Once you make a profile on the platform, you can post details about your pet on where millions of people looking for pets will see it. 

Another great option is the Get Your Pet online service. This is a safe way to find qualified pet owners to rehome your pet. It has resources on how on vetting those adopting, and lists of vets willing to do a free exam.

Most caution not to use platforms like Craigslist because this is where nefarious people go to find animals. They could be those in dog fighting circles, hoarders, backyard breeders, and even ritualistic killers.

Black kittens and cats that were given to those through a Craiglist ad were found tortured to death.

Read: 3 Reasons Why Your Cat Is Scared of the TV All of a Sudden? 

Contact Rescue Groups

Many rescue groups help pet owners find new forever families for their pets when they can no longer care for them. Some rescue groups specialize in certain breeds while others are more generalized. 

Rescue groups will help you find new pet parents without taking your pet but will also allow you to surrender your pet if you are running out of time to find it a home. 

Most don’t charge a fee to take your pet but you may want to consider making a donation to offset the cost of feeding and caring for your cat until a home is found.

Contact Humane Societies

Humane Societies are another resource but you must find out if a particular humane society offers a no-kill shelter or if it’s part of a government agency that runs animal shelters. Most government-run shelters euthanize animals that have been there too long. 

The Humane Society can help you advertise a new home for your pet even if you don’t surrender it. Each one is different and run by local people so you will need to find out the services each offer. 

Read: Why Is My Cat Walking Slow?

Read the Fine Print

All groups, from shelters to rescue groups, will have you sign surrender papers. Be sure to read them.

You have no control over your pet or its future once you sign them. 

That means looking to see how long they hold animals before they euthanize them and which animals are killed first. If your pet has behavioral problems, is a senior animal, or has medical issues, it will be the first to be euthanized. 

Some shelters will only keep pets three days before they euthanize them but it is up to you to ask. 

Rescue groups may have fine print that you can’t change your mind if your situation changes. You need to know what to expect once you surrender your animal.

Meet Potential Adopters

Be sure to check out anyone who shows an interest in your pet. Get their address, phone number, and at least three personal references. Ask just as a rescue group would in screening potential adopters. Consider meeting potential adopters in their homes so you can be sure of the environment your cat will be in.   

Also, be honest with potential adopters about your cat’s personality and whether they get along with people, and other pets. Share any behavior quirks or medical issues too. This is the most difficult part of rehoming your pet because that is when it becomes real. Do your best to make the best and most researched choice for your pet. 

You can ask the one you finally choose to take your cat to keep in touch with you about your cat to let them know how things are going. They may like the idea because they may have questions for you about behavior, diet, toys, or other things.

Consider a Foster Family

Many rescue groups and shelters have volunteer foster families that take care of animals rather than keeping them in an overcrowded shelter. Ask about this program to see if your cat will qualify. 

Read: How to Get Rid of Neighbour’s Cats in Your Yard?


It will take some time and effort to find a new home for your cat. Be prepared to put some research into it to make sure you are comfortable with your decision. After all, this is a loved member of your family and you want the absolute best for them.

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